Rituparno Ghosh the director, Ritu Da the mentor, Ritu the poet, Rituparno the actor and just Rituparno and Rituparno is what reverberated in the press conference of the master film maker’s last creation Satyanweshi’s first press meet which was held in The Park Kolkata on August 13th. The event was indeed the unveiling of Satyanweshi but more than the film itself the media and audience present seemed to be more eager to know about Rituparno Ghosh’s last days on the set so much so that Sujoy Ghosh even called out, “ Please someone perform planchet and call Ritu Da to answer all the questions”.
Rituparno Ghosh’s Last Venture ‘Satyanweshi’ unveiled. Press conference in Park Kolkata (You Tube)
The primary sentiment that came out in the press meet was that the original story Chorabali has only been used as a baseline for the film with the rest being totally Rituparno Ghosh’s own addition and creation and that, apart from a few seasoned actors like Arpita Chatterjee and Indraneil Sengupta, most of the actors selected are from non-acting backgrounds. To the common question as to why did people like director Sujoy Ghosh and singer Anindya agree to do the movie, the only answer was Ritu Da and Ritu Da alone.
Sujoy Ghosh shared some light moments with the media and mostly told about his experience of his life’s two firsts; wearing the traditional Bangali Dhuti and riding a horse with that. When asked if Sujoy would now take up more of such acting projects he immediately said a big fat ‘No’. The media also wanted to know if traces of Sujoy the director can also be seen in Satyanweshi to which he said that before entering the sets he used to switch his director self out and completely surrender his actor self to Ritu Da as he always had that 100% faith in his abilities and creativity. When asked if after Ritu da and Dibakar Banerjee Sujoy Ghosh will be seen making another Byomkesh Sujoy said that he will not do so as he does not really understand Byomkesh and right now he will not tread into unknown waters.
Sholoana Bangaliana then spoke to Anandiya Chatterjee to know about the mystery of the bearded Ajit which the audience has never seen before. “It was Ritu Da who insisted that I keep the beard which I happily did. I personally wanted to wear glasses for my role but Ritu Da just did not agree to that. The best thing about this Byomkesh story is that here not just the detective Byomkesh but even his consort Ajit has been given due importance with a very prominent and important role that will establish Ajit separately”, said Anindya to Sholoana Bangaliana.
We then spoke to Anandi Ghosh and for her our primary question was the difference in experience of working with the two Ghoshs’, her father Gautam Ghosh and mentor Rituparno Ghosh. To which Anandi said, “It was definitely easier to work with Ritu Da as for him when acting I was just an actor and the expectations were limited to that but my dad tends to take me for granted and being his daughter definitely expects a lot more from me”. Anandi also said that acting is so not her forte and ten years down the line she wants to see herself as an established film maker.
We then spoke to the gorgeous Arpita Chatterjee whose voice we will be able to hear in one of the songs of the movie. The original novel has just about a two-three line mention of her character but here too Ritu Da has added in his bit and given a beautiful shape to her character. “Though I have learnt singing, I have never really tried it professionally and this is a very close to heart project for me as, along with my acting skills Ritu da who has been more than a mentor to me even had faith in my capabilities as a singer and I will always be grateful to him for that”, said Arpita.
Talking about her Pujo preparations Arpita said that this Pujo too, like all the other years she will have that completely traditional Bengali look.
We also spoke to Music Director Debojyoti Mishro who is quite excited about the project and definitely misses Ritu the composer badly as he said, “It was while doing the music of this film in the absence of Ritu that I felt that a director is very much needed to help a music director do his work well and though Ritu’s team namely Avik, Arghya and Debo have always been there with me to help and support, Ritu’s absence always pricked”. The movie has a lot of Rabindra Sangeet and traditional Bengali music with the primary highlight being a song in Arpita Chatterjee’s own voice.
Rest of Ritu’s team namely Chief Asst. Director Debobroto Dutta, Shibaji Bondhopadhay, Sanjoy Nag, Editor Arghakamal Mitra and DOP Avik Mukhopadhay almost unanimously said that the way a film is completed in the presence of a director, it has to be completed in just the same way even in his absence and Rituparno Ghosh’s team has tried to do the same and sincerely hope that the audience will see their beloved Ritu Da’s traces in all aspect of the movie.